A paper by Alessandro Jedlowski of the University of Liege on female entrepreneurship in the Nigerian film industry is available in pre-publication form.
The paper is entitled “The women behind the camera: Female entrepreneurship in the southern Nigerian video film industry”, and will be published in the forthcoming book Cultural Entrepreneurship in Africa.
As Jedlowski explains, the Nigerian video film industry is perceived as a male-dominated space; however, he argues that a “good number of women have successfully established themselves as entrepreneurs in the southern Nigerian video business”.
“In the academic debate about the Nigerian video industry, the role of women has generally been underestimated,” Jedlowski writes, adding that in fact “women have played an influential role”.
Read the abstract:
In the academic debate about the southern Nigerian video industry (Nollywood), the role of women has generally been underestimated. Articles that focus on the connection between women and the video industry tend to analyse the discourse about gender that videos produce and circulate and see the videos as propagator of sexist and patriarchal stereotypes about women and their place in society. Some analysts have nuanced these criticisms by showing the variety and complexity of the gender discourse that videos circulate, and by emphasizing that the video stories make new forms of female social mobility visible. However, almost no attention has been given to the analysis of how the industry, as a form of business, has opened new spaces for women’s economic and social mobility. In this chapter I make an attempt at addressing this gap by focusing on the experience of a number of women who have successfully established themselves as entrepreneurs in the southern Nigerian video industry. Thanks to their specific business strategies, they have created new spaces for female economic and social mobility in this sector, and have gained pronounced social visibility, thus contributing to the construction of the collective imagination of women’s social and economic success.
For more on this fascinating topic, see Gender Terrains in African Cinema by Dominica Dipio.